Chocolate

Chocolate Panna cotta with Florentine Cookies – Daring Bakers Challenge February 2011

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

Both the chocolate panna cotta and florentine cookies were a bit hit this month. I was grateful that both were very quick recipes, as I’ve said in previous posts – our garden has gone crazy this spring and summer and we have been spending much of our time trying to sort it out, and the rest of our time has been spent with family. The panna cotta has already been requested again, with some people saying it tasted like a chocolate mousse.

I tried to out-turn the panna cottas – like I have before, although they didn’t have enough gelatine for the tall ones to stand, and the ones from the glasses ended up looking a little naughty (some dark chocolate chocolate fell to the base of the glass – I’ll leave the imagery to your imagination).

Thanks again to the Daring Bakers and our hosts every month!

My notes: I found the panna cotta served 8-10 people. I accidentally made my florentine cookies a little big, so they look a little longer to cook and made a few less than expected. I also made some large rectangles of florentines, so they could be cut into clean rectangles after cooking.

Chocolate Panna Cotta

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups (480 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
½ cup (115 gm) (4 oz) sugar
¾ cup (145 gm)(5 oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) vanilla extract

Pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top, set aside for 2-5 minutes.

Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir in cream, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil.

Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk the milk/gelatin mixture into chocolate cream mixture. Whisk until gelatin has dissolved.

Transfer to ramekins, or nice glasses for serving.

Cover and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight

Nestle Florentine Cookies

Recipe from the cookbook “Nestle Classic Recipes”, and their website.

2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 2/3 oz) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk chocolate

Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.

To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon, or use a spatula.

Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl).

Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).

Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.

This recipe will make about 2 1/2 – 3 dozen sandwiched Florentine cookies. You can also choose not to sandwich yours, in which case, drizzle the tops with chocolate (over your wax paper).

Chocolate Chip Stollen – Daring Bakers Challenge December 2010

Monday, December 27th, 2010

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book………and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

We hosted a lovely lunch on Boxing Day this year. The day started off with rain, then went a little cold, got quite hot and then rained at night. I’m glad for the few hours of cool weather (we are currently experiencing a strange Summer here in Sydney), as we had the oven and BBQ on for the meals. We started with beautiful cheeses from Formaggi Ocello. For lunch we had gammon, lamb and roast chicken, with a garden salad, bok choy salad, pumpkin, beetroot and walnut salad.

And for dessert…

We had profiteroles, a triple chocolate cheese cake, a pavlova, fruit and berries, an almond slice and a chocolate chip stollen.

This was the only opportunity for me to make this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge. The month has been full of Christmas and end of year parties and get-togethers, along with all the shopping for presents. I got some lovely cookbooks, clothes and a gorgeous Le Creseut pot.

I considered making the stollen to the original recipe – as there are a couple people in my family who really enjoy fruit breads, although after taking a vote on whether to make the original version or a choc chip version – there was a resounding vote for the choc chip version.

I thought it may turn out like choc chip hot cross buns – and it was quite similar. It was great an hour out of the oven and great toasted with a bit of butter a day or two after.

Everyone was quite impressed with this as part of our dessert menu. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and have a fantastic New Years.

Chocolate Chip Stollen Wreath

my changes in italics

Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people

¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first – then sift- plus extra for dusting)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange (I left this out)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract (I left this out)
¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own) (I left this out)
1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins (I used approx 1 1/2 cups choc chips – 250g)
3 tablespoons (45ml) rum (I left this out)
12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional) (I left this out)
1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.

Soak the raisins (I left this out)
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.

To make the dough:

Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium – low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.

In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.

Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn’t enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

My KitchenAid couldn’t fit this in it, so I kneaded it by hand

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.

Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.

Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.

Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.

Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes (Mine took approx 40min in total). The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.

Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.

Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.

The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.

Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh – especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.

The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days and it toasts superbly…. so delicious with butter and a cup of tea….mmmmm

Storage
The more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.
The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar
1. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months
2. The baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and
3. One month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap.

Baked Alaska and Ice Cream Petit Fours – Daring Bakers Challenge August 2010

Friday, August 27th, 2010

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Two sweets I have never made were chosen for this month’s Daring Bakers challenge. We could do both or just one, and as I had done neither previously and wanted to try them both. I went with both, especially considering that there were two common components between these desserts, meaning I just had to increase the cake and ice cream quantity, and not make too many extra components.

I was surprised by how many people one Baked Alaska from a reasonably small tea cup actually served. You could easily serve 2-4 people with one Baked Alaska, and with the petit fours being served up with them, I was cutting it into eight. This meant one of them stayed in the freezer (covered in plastic) for a week before my family got around to eating it. And it was still good.

I tried both torching the meringue using a blow torch and placing it in a hot oven for 4 minutes. The torching was a heap of fun, although the oven actually made the meringue beautifully crispy on the outside. I’m not a huge fan of not-fully cooked meringue and this was a little off-putting for me, although others couldn’t get enough of it.

The cake was lovely the day it came out of the oven, the burnt butter flavour worked so well. I found as the days went on and refrigeration and freezing were required, it became a little staler than I would have preferred.

Although I was extremely looking forward to the petit fours, they didn’t turn out how I had hoped. They were too large, the cake kept coming away from the ice cream and they were too difficult to coat. Taste-wise they were great – but I wouldn’t bother doing them individually again…

Thanks again to our host this month – I always enjoy the challenges.

Baked Alaska and Ice Cream Petit Fours

Recipe Source: The brown butter pound cake recipe is adapted from the October 2009 edition of Gourmet. The vanilla ice cream is from ice cream genius David Lebovitz, adapted from The Perfect Scoop. The chocolate glaze for the petit fours is a larger adapted version of this ganache from Godiva Chocolate and the meringue for the Baked Alaska is a larger version of this meringue from Gourmet, May 1995.

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (165g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise OR 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (500ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean with a paring knife and add to the milk, along with the bean pod. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for an hour. (If you do not have a vanilla bean, simply heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan until the liquid steams, then let cool to room temperature.)

Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2 litre) bowl inside a large bowl partially filled with water and ice. Put a strainer on top of the smaller bowl and pour in the cream.

In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks together. Reheat the milk in the medium saucepan until warmed, and then gradually pour ¼ cup warmed milk into the yolks, constantly whisking to keep the eggs from scrambling. Once the yolks are warmed, scrape the yolk and milk mixture back into the saucepan of warmed milk and cook over low heat. Stir constantly and scrape the bottom with a spatula until the mixture thickens into a custard which thinly coats the back of the spatula.

Strain the custard into the heavy cream and stir the mixture until cooled. Add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon [5ml] if you are using a vanilla bean; 3 teaspoons [15ml] if you are not using a vanilla bean) and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.

Remove the vanilla bean and freeze in an ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make it without a machine. See instructions from David Lebovitz: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/07/making_ice_crea_1.html

Brown Butter Pound Cake
The pound cake calls for cake flour. You can make 1 cup of cake flour by placing 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a 1 cup measure, and filling to the top with all purpose flour.

19 tablespoons (9.5 oz) (275g) unsalted (sweet) butter
2 cups (200g) sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) (See “Note” section for cake flour substitution)
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
1/3 (75g) cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.

Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.

Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.

Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Glaze (For the Ice Cream Petit Fours)

9 ounces (250g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) heavy (approx 35% butterfat) cream
1 1/2 tablespoons (32g) light corn syrup, Golden syrup, or agave nectar
2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract

Stir the heavy cream and light corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dark chocolate. Let sit 30 seconds, then stir to completely melt the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla and let cool until tepid before glazing the petit fours.

Meringue (For the Baked Alaska)

8 large egg whites
½ teaspoon (3g) cream of tartar
½ teaspoon (3g) salt
1 cup (220g) sugar

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar gradually in a slow stream until stiff peaks form.

Assembly Instructions – Ice Cream Petit Fours

Line a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) pan with plastic wrap, so that no sides of the pan are exposed and so there is some extra plastic wrap hanging off the sides. Spread 1 ¾ to 2 cups (450ml to 500ml) ice cream into the pan. Cover with more plastic wrap and freeze several hours.

Once the brown butter pound cake has completely cooled, level the top with a cake leveler or a serrated knife. Then split the cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers.

Unwrap the frozen ice cream. Flip out onto one of the layers of cake and top with the second layer of cake. Wrap well in plastic wrap and return to the freezer overnight.

Make the chocolate glaze (see above.)

While the glaze cools, trim ¾” (2cm) off each side of the ice cream cake to leave a perfectly square 7.5” (19cm) ice cream cake. Cut the cake into twenty five petit fours, each 1.5”x1.5” (4cmx4cm).

Glaze the petit fours one at a time: place a petit four on a fork and spoon chocolate glaze over it.

Place the petit fours on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the freezer for one hour.

Assembly Instructions – Baked Alaska

Line four 4” (10cm) diameter tea cups with plastic wrap, so that plastic wrap covers all the sides and hangs over the edge. Fill to the top with ice cream. Cover the top with the overhanging plastic wrap and freeze for several hours, or until solid.

Level the top of the brown butter pound cake with a serrated knife or with a cake leveler. Cut out four 4” (10cm) diameter circles from the cake. Discard the scraps or use for another purpose.

Make the meringue (see above.)

Unwrap the ice cream “cups” and invert on top of a cake round. Trim any extra cake if necessary.

Pipe the meringue over the ice cream and cake, or smooth it over with a spatula, so that none of the ice cream or cake is exposed. Freeze for one hour or up to a day.

Burn the tips of the meringue with a cooking blow torch. Or, bake the meringue-topped Baked Alaskas on a rimmed baking sheet in a 500°F/260°C oven for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Serve immediately.

Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake – Daring Bakers Challenge July 2010

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

A crowd pleaser – on all accounts. Everyone loved this dessert – probably because it was composed of chocolate and vanilla components. Chocolate cake and a whole lot of cream sums up this dessert – as do the words ‘yum’ ‘that was great’ and ‘can I have some more’. And yes, people did go back for seconds.

I was a little concerned at the beginning as the ice cream recipes had no egg yolks, and the chocolate ice cream only had cocoa for flavouring, which I thought would impact greatly on flavour and texture – but I think it all worked wonderfully together and would happily make this again.

I had a little trouble with the chocolate swiss roll breaking a touch when I rolled the cream up in it, so I would probably use a different recipe if I were to serve the swiss roll by itself. My food processor couldn’t grind up the vanilla bean fine enough for my likings, so I used the seeds only. And I have learnt my lesson (for the final time). Don’t try and freeze two things in the ice cream machine on the same day! I left my chocolate ice cream too late and it didn’t freeze in the ice cream machine, so we had an ice cream cake with chocolate cream sauce for dessert and it was all too good.

I had leftovers from my 2.4L bowl, so I also made a loaf tin of the swiss roll ice cream cake – and eyes lit up when I said a week after the first one – “would anyone like ice cream cake for dessert?”

Thanks to our Daring Baker host this month, Sunita. I never would have thought or got around to making this if it weren’t on the Daring Bakers – and a big Thank you to all those who maintain and manage the website.

Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

Recipe source- Inspired by the Swiss swirl ice cream cake from the Taste of Home website. The recipes for the cake, filling, eggless ice creams and the fudge topping have been developed by Sunita.

The Swiss rolls

6 medium sized eggs
1 C / 225 gms caster sugar /8 oz+ extra for rolling
6 tblsp / 45gms/ a pinch over 1.5 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 tblsp/40gm /a pinch under 1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
2 tblsp /30ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water
a little oil for brushing the pans

For the filling

2C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
5 tblsp / 70gms/2.5oz of caster sugar

Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.

In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.

Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.

Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.

Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.

Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.

Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processer till nicely mixed together. If you are using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar and extract to the cream.

In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick.
Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).

Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.

The vanilla ice cream

2 and ½ C / 625 ml / 20 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, minced or 1 tsp/ 5 ml/ .15 fl oz vanilla extract
½ C / 115gms/ 4 oz of granulated sugar

Grind together the sugar and vanilla in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, add the cream and vanilla –sugar mixture and whisk lightly till everything is mixed together. If you are using the vanilla extract, grind the sugar on its own and then and the sugar along with the vanilla extract to the cream.

Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.

The Hot fudge sauce– I made this just after adding the layer of vanilla ice cream to the cake.

1 C / 230gms/ 8 oz of caster sugar
3 tblsp / 24gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tblsp /15gms/ 1 oz of cornflour/cornstarch
1 and ½ C /355ml /12 fl oz of water
1 tblsp /14gms/ 1 oz butter
1 tsp/5 ml / .15 fl oz vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour and water.

Place the pan over heat, and stir constantly, till it begins to thicken and is smooth (for about 2 minutes).
Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla. Keep aside to cool .

The chocolate ice cream

2C/ 500 ml whipping cream
1 C/230gms/8 oz caster sugar
3 tblsp/ 24 gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Grind together the sugar and the cocoa powder in a food processor .
In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and whisk lightly.
Place the pan over heat and keep stirring till it begins to bubble around the edges.

Remove from heat and cool completely before transferring to a freezer friendly container till firm around the edges. If you are using an ice cream maker, churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instruction, after the mixture has cooled completely.
Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.

Assembly-

Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices ( approximately 2 cms each ).

Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.

Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).

Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour)

Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm . ( at least an hour)

Soften the chocolate ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set .

Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.

Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.

V8 Cake

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Yes, that’s right. I decided to make Adriano Zumbo’s V8 cake. Not a car cake as might be thought by the name, but a gorgeous cake composed of eight different layers of vanilla. Vanilla crème chantilly, toasted vanilla brulee, vanilla water gel, vanilla glaze, vanilla ganache, vanilla macaron, vanilla dacquoise, vanilla chiffon cake, vanilla almond crunch… hmmm.. that’s 9 layers… oh well.

After the pressure test episode on MasterChef, I had loads of people coming up and asking whether I would be making the cake – with all of them hoping to get a chance to try it.

I haven’t made anything from this series of MasterChef, even though there was one other dish that looked very gorgeous and tasty. So, I decided to make this cake (unfortunately not using all the beans used here, and substituting vanilla essence for some – as they are quite expensive). I also didn’t use any of the titanium dioxide in the glaze or chocolate. I know this would have made a gorgeous colour, but it would have been difficult to get a hold of, and I thought that 12.5g was a little large for the cake. The cake still looked gorgeous, without the brilliant white look.

I am glad tonight’s episode is the last MasterChef, as hopefully I can get a bit of my time back – I haven’t been visiting people blogs, getting enough sleep, blogging as much as I’d like and experimenting with some of my own creations.

My notes on making this cake:
I didn’t use all the vanilla beans, due to expense. I used half the number here + vanilla essence.
I made my own almond praline paste – not sure if it’s what it’s supposed to be like, the recipe is at the bottom of this page.
I made my own miroir glaze – this recipe is also at the end – it makes more than required (about 1/3 extra).
I didn’t use Titanium dioxide – the cake still looked gorgeous.
I made my own 20cm acetate box – cutting out a 20cm x 20cm square + 4 20cm x 9cm recatangles (although these were too large and could have been 20cm x 7cm). Sticky tape the rectangles to each side of the square, then sticky tape together. Use cardboard for supports on the bottom and each end.)
You can use projector sheets or sheets that cover the front of a book for acetate in this recipe.
I thought the ganache was a bit more difficult to get smooth than more traditional ganaches (pouring hot cream over the chocolate). Although with lots of pressure from the food processor – it came together in the end. I would suggest cutting it up finely to begin with, otherwise cream goes everywhere. This also made around 1/3 too much I think.
In place of the 1.5g gellanin the vanilla water gel, I used 2 sheets gold gelatine (4-5g) to get a jelly layer.
I used All Bran wheat flakes instead of the pailette feuillitine, but only 20g of it.
There was way too much vanilla syrup. I would suggest doing 1/4 of the recipe or less.
There was too much brown sugar crumble – this could have been cut by half.
There could have been a bit more vanilla creme chantilly made, as this was a little short for me… Make 1/4-1/2 more.

Enjoy!! If you decide to make it 🙂

V8 Cake

Recipe by Adriano Zumbo on MasterChef Australia 2010 (series 2)
see my notes above

2 vanilla beans
100g blanched almonds
Sugar spheres, to serve

Vanilla crème chantilly
4g gold strength gelatine leaves
590g thickened cream
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
175g caster sugar
24g cold water

Toasted vanilla brulee

3 egg yolks
50g dark brown sugar
250g thickened cream
1 vanilla bean
1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla water gel
250g water
38g caster sugar
1.5g gellan
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

Vanilla glaze
9.5g gelatine leaves
60g cold water
40g glucose liquid
35g water
250g caster sugar
400g thickened cream
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
150g miroir glaze (specialty cold-application patisserie glaze)
7.5g titanium dioxide (white colourant, powdered)

Vanilla ganache
300g white couverture chocolate
185g thickened cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
95g unsalted butter, softened

Brown sugar crumble
50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
50g dark brown sugar
50g almond meal
¼ scraped vanilla bean

Vanilla macaron
53g egg whites
50g pure icing sugar
150g TPT (equal parts sifted almond meal and sifted pure icing sugar)
½ scraped vanilla bean

Vanilla dacquoise
60g egg whites
43g caster sugar
65g almond meal
40g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
½ tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla chiffon cake

17.5g plain flour
1 roasted and finely ground vanilla bean
1.25 (21g) egg yolks
5g dark brown sugar
17.5g water
15g canola oil
45g egg whites
22.5g caster sugar
2.5g rice flour

Vanilla almond crunch

45g milk couverture chocolate
90g almond praline paste
90g pure almond paste
18g unsalted butter
45g brown sugar crumble
45g pailette feuillitine (crunchy wheat flakes)
18g toasted diced almonds
1 roasted and finely ground vanilla bean
2g sea salt
¼ scraped vanilla bean

Vanilla syrup
125g caster sugar
250g water
½ vanilla bean, split
1 tsp vanilla extract

White chocolate flower and tiles
500g white couverture chocolate, grated or finely chopped
5g titanium dioxide

Please note – you will need precision scales. The vanilla crème chantilly, vanilla glaze, brown sugar crumble, and vanilla syrup can all be made ahead of time.

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.

2. To make the roasted vanilla beans, place 2 vanilla beans in oven until burnt and charcoal in texture. Grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Cover and set aside.

3. To make the pure almond paste, place 100g blanched almonds on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until deep golden. Grind to a coarse paste. Cover and set aside.

4. To make the vanilla crème chantilly, cut gelatine into small squares, soak in the cold water. Place cream, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 70-80°C, and then stir through the gelatine and water mixture until dissolved. Place in a container, cover the surface with cling wrap and place in the fridge.

5. For the toasted vanilla brulee, mix yolks and sugar in a bowl by hand with a whisk until just combined. Add cream and vanilla bean to a small saucepan and bring to the boil, pour a little over the eggs while stirring, then add the remaining liquid including vanilla bean. Puree with a hand blender until smooth and pour into a shallow baking tray about 25 x 38cm. Place into the oven and cook until just set, about 10 minutes, then increase oven to 200°C and bake until it forms a golden brown crust, about 5 minutes. It should look slightly split when removed from the oven. Scrape mixture into a thermomix, blender, or small food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside in a small bowl, covering the surface of the brulee with cling wrap so it doesn’t form a skin. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C.

6. To make the vanilla water gel, place a lined 18cm square cake tin in the fridge to chill. Boil all ingredients in saucepan whilst whisking until dissolved and mixture starts to thicken. To test if set, drop about a teaspoon of liquid into a metal bowl, it should thicken slightly. It will thicken on cooling. To speed up cooling, pour into a metal bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Pour into chilled cake tin and place in the freezer until solid, about 30 minutes. Remove from mould and keep gel in freezer.

7. For the vanilla glaze, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until softened. Drain, squeezing out any excess water. Boil glucose, water and sugar until 165°C, brushing around the sides of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water as you go. Do not allow caramel to take on any colour. In another saucepan, bring cream and vanilla seeds to boil and then add to the sugar syrup. Mix through, then allow to cool to 70°C and add softened gelatine, stirring well. Add miroir glaze and titanium dioxide and blend well. Strain, then freeze until set. Reheat to 35°C when glazing the cake.

8. For the vanilla ganache, place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and creamy. Cover closely with cling wrap and set aside until needed.

9. To make the brown sugar crumble, place all ingredients in an electric mixer and beat mix until dough forms. ‘Grate’ through a cooling rack with a lined baking tray sitting underneath to catch the crumble then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden.

10. To make the vanilla macaron, draw an 18cm square on a piece of baking paper placed on a baking tray. Using an electric mixer or hand beaters, whisk egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form then slowly add pure icing sugar, checking it has dissolved in between additions until you have stiff glossy peaks. Stir through TPT with vanilla seeds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle. Pipe into the pencilled frame using a continuous snaking motion to fill the entire square. Let a skin form and then bake for 10 minutes at 160°C until golden. Remove from oven, slide baking paper off tray and place on kitchen bench. Increase oven temperature to 180°C.

11. To make the vanilla dacquoise, draw an 18cm square on a piece of baking paper placed on a baking tray. In an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form then slowly add caster sugar, beating until you have stiff glossy peaks. Mix almond meal with icing sugar, vanilla seeds and extract, gently fold through egg whites. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle. Pipe into the pencilled frame using a continuous snaking motion to fill the entire square. Dust with icing sugar, let sit 2 minutes then dust again. Bake at 180°C 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, slide baking paper off tray and place on kitchen bench. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C.

12. To make the vanilla chiffon cake, draw an 18cm square on a piece of baking paper placed on a baking tray. Mix flour, roasted vanilla bean powder, egg yolks, brown sugar, water and oil in a bowl until combined. Whisk egg whites in an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form then slowly add the sugar and rice flour, beating until you have stiff, glossy peaks. Fold the meringue through the batter gently. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle. Pipe into the pencilled frame using a continuous snaking motion to fill the entire square. Bake in the oven set at 160°C until golden, about 15 minutes.

13. To make the vanilla almond crunch, melt milk chocolate, add almond praline and the pure almond paste and mix well. Melt butter and take to nut brown (noissette) stage. Add crumble and fueilletine flakes and mix through praline mixture, then fold through burnt butter, followed by toasted almonds, crushed vanilla beans, sea salt and scraped vanilla seeds. Smooth a 5mm layer over vanilla dacquoise and set aside.

14. To make the vanilla syrup, bring all ingredients to the boil, then allow to cool.

15. To make the white chocolate tiles and flower, bring 5cm of water in a medium saucepan to the boil, turn off the heat and sit a metal bowl with 300g of the chocolate over the water. Stir until just melted then remove bowl to the bench and add about 100g more chocolate to bring the temperature down. Stir vigorously until the chocolate has melted, if the chocolate does not feel cold to the touch, add the remaining 100g chocolate to bring down the temperature. Add titanium dioxide and mix well. Keep stirring well to remove all lumps. If the chocolate mixture feels cold to the touch, spread a small, thin layer onto a small piece of baking paper. Set aside for about 3-4 minutes, it will start to harden if it is tempered correctly. If the chocolate becomes too thick and the temperature is too low, gently reheat the mixture in the bowl set over the saucepan of steaming water, but it still needs to be cold.

16. When the chocolate is tempered, to make the flower, spread a thin layer, about 2-3mm thick on 2 pieces of acetate (30 x 40cm) using a large palette knife. Once the chocolate has almost set, on one sheet of acetate carefully mark 3 strips lengthways on the strips, about 7-9cm-wide. Mark thin triangles in each strip. These form the flower petals. Place a piece of baking paper over the top, and wrap around a rolling pin or similar cylinder and allow to completely harden.

17. On the other sheet use a ruler to mark out 4 ½ cm squares. Place a piece of baking paper over the top and invert onto a board or clean work surface to completely harden.

18. To assemble the cake, in a 20cm acetate-lined straight-sided cake tin spread a 5-10mm layer of Chantilly crème around base and sides of tin. Chill in freezer until firm. Lay vanilla gel at the base of the tin and smear with a tiny amount of brulee so that macaron layer will stick to the gel. Lay macaron layer over brulee smear. Cover macaron layer with an even 5mm of brulee. Place chiffon cake over brulee layer. Brush chiffon cake with a little vanilla syrup. Spread a 5mm layer of ganache over chiffon cake. Invert the dacquoise/crunch layers so the vanilla almond crunch layer is sandwiched next to the ganache and the dacquoise is facing up. The dacquoise will become the base of the cake.

19. Fill in any gaps with Chantilly cream, then place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes until firm. Place a large piece of cling wrap on the bench and place a cooling rack on top. Remove the cake from the chiller and invert onto the cooling rack. Heat sides of cake tin gently with a blow torch to help release the mould from the cake. Remove any acetate. Smooth top and sides if necessary with a palette knife. Pouring generously and using a palette knife, spread the vanilla glaze evenly over the top and sides, completely covering the surface. Using a large palette knife transfer the cake to a cake stand and place the chocolate tiles around the cake.

20. To assemble the flower spread a small amount of melted tempered chocolate onto a small piece of baking paper and use this as a base to stick the petals, starting in the centre, working outwards to create a flower. Using choco-cool will help ‘fix’ the petals in place and firm up the chocolate base. Place chocolate flower on top of the cake and decorate the top of the cake with a few sugar spheres.

Almond Praline
Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

50g caster sugar
60g blanched slivered almonds

Roast the almonds for 5-10mins at 160°C. Heat the sugar on high, until the sugar starts browning around the outside. Gently stir in the un-melted sugar, until it is all caramelised in colour. Pour over the roasted almonds. Allow to cool, then blend in a food processor. (It won’t go into the same paste texture as the almond paste above).

Miroir Glaze
Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

2 gold gelatine leaves (4g)
220g water
60g caster sugar
30g glucose

Place the gelatine leaves into cold water to soak for 5 minutes. Heat the water, caster sugar and glucose in a small saucepan until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and let it cool to 70°C. Squeeze excess water from gelatine leaves, place in saucepan and stir until dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly before storing in the fridge.

Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse – Daring Bakers Challenge June 2010

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

Even though I end up with loads of egg whites after my cooking escapades, I never tend to make meringues out of them. I end up trialling out some macarons and other egg white based goodies like souffles.

I was really excited to try chocolate meringues though and these were a big winner with everyone, especially Nick – who just loved them and wants more (I guess I know what I may be making with any more egg whites).

The mousse was quite nice and a bit rich – I think it would be a great recipe for those who want an eggless mousse.

I decided to make half the mascarpone cream and crème anglaise, as I didn’t think I would need such a large volume, especially considering I had seen most people only do a light drizzle over there meringue and mousse. After plating and taking photos I poured a whole lot over the meringue and mousse as an ice cream substitute with its lovely vanilla flavour (even if I did over cook the crème anglaise – whoops).

What a great challenge (Thanks Dawn!) Even though I had a bit of trouble finding the time, I had no trouble finding people to help eat the dessert.

Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

Recipe Source: Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):

3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.

Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)

Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)

Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)

Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base): (I left out the lemon and orange juice/ Grand Marnier)

1 ½ cups (355 mls) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone (we made this for the Tiramisu Daring bakers challenge – see the recipe here)
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)

Put ½ cup (120 mls) of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.

Place the mascarpone, the remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)

Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.

Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling): ( I made half this quantity)

1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream

Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above): (I made half this quantity)

1 cup (235 mls) whole milk
1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.

Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.

Assembly:
Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.

Mum’s Trifle

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

MumsTrifle4

For my Mum’s birthday a couple of months ago, I designed a trifle just for her.

MumsTrifle7

Although I don’t normally make trifles, I’ll make anything that my Mum wants for her birthday. So a trifle once or twice a year is not much to ask or give.

MumsTrifle8

I decided to make the trifle layered and served in a cylindrical shape – making an individual portion and a cuter chic-styled trifle. And what would make a trifle more modern than pretty pistachio macarons!

MumsTrifle1

The individual portion was frozen, and without enough time to allow it to thaw after removal of the acetate, it was eaten frozen – I hear it was lovely frozen. I ate a scoop from the bowl and thought all the flavours worked extremely well together.

Mum’s Trifle

Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

Serves: 10

Vanilla Sponge
4 eggs
150g (1 cup) self raising flour
150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
40g (1/4 cup) cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Custard
4 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
20g cornflour
250ml cream
350ml milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 punnets strawberries, cored and sliced in half

Vienna almond and nougat cream
100g nougat, chopped
150g Vienna almonds, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
600ml thickened cream
1/4 cup icing sugar mixture

Pistachio macarons, for serving – see my recipe here

Chocolate Sauce
100g dark chocolate
80ml cream
1 tablespoon Kahlua, optional

For the sponge, preheat oven to 180°C. Beat together the eggs and caster sugar for 4 minutes or until light, fluffy and increased in size. Beat in the vanilla essence. Fold in the sifted flour and cornflour. Pour into a baking paper lined tray. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then remove and allow to cool fully on a cooling rack.

For the custard, whisk the yolks, cornflour and caster sugar in a saucepan. Once smooth, whisk in the cream slowly, then the milk. Place mixture on medium heat and cook until the mixture has thickened or starts to boil. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl and let cool slightly. Place cling film over the custard – touching the custard so it prevents a skin forming.

For the Vienna almond and nougat cream, whip the cream with the vanilla and icing sugar mixture until thick peaks are formed. Fold through the chopped Vienna almond and nougat.

For the Chocolate Sauce, heat the cream in saucepan, until it just starts to bubble. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Add the Kahlua or other alcohol at this point, if using. Whisk or stir until smooth. This is best made just before serving.

To assemble:
Cut the sponge base to fit the serving bowl. Alternatively, cut 5cm diameter rounds from the cake (it may need to be cut in half depending on how tall the sponge is). Cut some acetate or projector film into 8-10cm high and approx 17cm wide (or enough to fit around the sponge/5cm cutting circles). Make the acetate into cylinders around the sponge or 5cm rounds and hold in place with sticky tape, with the sponge at the bottom of the cylinder.

If desired, you can brush the sponge with any liqueur you like.

Next, pour the custard on top of the sponge, smooth the top and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Place any individual portions in the freezer and set until the top of the custard is firm.

Place the cut strawberries around the edge of the glass dish or acetate strips and the remaining ones in the middle.

Cover with Vienna almond, nougat cream. Smooth the top and place in the fridge to set for a few hours before serving. For individual portions, place back in the freezer (otherwise the acetate won’t come off easily).

To serve: Remove acetate from any individual trifles. Place pistachio macarons on top of the trifle and serve with the chocolate sauce in a pourer.

MumsTrifle6

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Bun (Bread) and Butter Pudding

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

ChocChipBunPudding21

Here’s an idea for those who have ended up with too many choc chip or traditional hot cross buns after Easter. In case you didn’t freeze them, or aren’t going to warm them under the grill over the next few days, try this version of a bread and butter pudding – where the bread is the hot cross buns – or in my case, chocolate chip hot cross buns.

ChocChipBunPudding08

This is a great Easter dessert that should keep everyone happy. Happy Easter everyone!

ChocChipBunPudding16

Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Bun (Bread) and Butter Pudding

Recipe from Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

9 chocolate chip hot cross buns (bought or made – see the recipe I use here)
50g butter, softened
5 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
500ml milk
500ml cream
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
Icing sugar to dust or melted white chocolate drizzled to serve

Grease an oven-proof dish with some of the butter. Cut the hot cross buns into two or three slices (leaving the tops intact). Spread the cut slides with the butter and lay them reassembled in the baking dish.

Heat the milk, cream and vanilla essence in a small/medium saucepan until almost at the boil. Whisk the caster sugar with the eggs in a large bowl. Slowly pour the warm cream and milk mixture into the egg and sugar mix, whisking constantly, until combined.

Pour the egg and milk mixture into dish with the hot cross buns. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the mixture to be soaked into the buns. (It can be stored in the fridge at this stage for a few hours, or until ready to cook). Make sure you press the buns down into the mixture a few times to make sure the top soak in the liquid (as they float to the top).

Preheat oven to 170C. Place the dish with the pudding mix into a larger dish and fill the larger dish halfway with warm/hot water. Cook for 1 hour or more until the custard is cooked (insert a knife into the custard to see if it is cooked – it will come out quite clean if cooked, or will have liquid custard if more time is needed. Alternatively move a bun to the side to check the bottom of the dish see if the custard is still runny liquid).

ChocChipBunPudding06

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Enjoy with ice cream or Easter eggs.

ChocChipBunPudding20

ChocChipBunPudding27

Orange Tian – Daring Bakers Challenge March 2010

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

OrangeTian11

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

I don’t use oranges much in my desserts, except for fruit salads, so the concept of this dessert was difficult to grasp. I decided to make the dessert as written, along with adding chocolate to half the mix and serving with Jaffas to make choc orange dessert.

OrangeTian31

There were many components to this challenge, including the marmalade – which Nick was very excited that I would be making. He loves marmalade, especially chunky marmalade, so I decided to make it chunky – a little too chunky for me. The pate sable was lovely and easy to make, although I needed to cut the pieces again after cooking to ensure they fit in moulds.

I had a touch of trouble with the caramel, as it melted and caramelised at the same time, so when I added the orange juice it clumped a heap and I had to cook it until the clumps of sugar dissolved again.

OrangeTian24

I tried both the normal and chocolate version, although think I prefer other desserts and flavour combinations. The others who tried it thought it was quite nice – even prefering the original flavour over the chocolate version.

Thanks again to our host Jennifer for this challenge. I found the flavour combinations very interesting, and have learnt quite a bit from the experience.

OrangeTian17

Orange Tian

Dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris

For the Pate Sablee:

2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
granulated sugar 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon; 2.8 oz; 80 grams
vanilla extract ½ teaspoon
Unsalted butter ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams ice cold, cubed
Salt 1/3 teaspoon; 2 grams
All-purpose flour 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
baking powder 1 teaspoon ; 4 grams

Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

In a separate bowl, add the eggs yolks, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Pour the egg mixture in the food processor.

Process until the dough just comes together. If you find that the dough is still a little too crumbly to come together, add a couple drops of water and process again to form a homogenous ball of dough. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle.

Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.

For the Marmalade:

Freshly pressed orange juice ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams
1 large orange used to make orange slices
cold water to cook the orange slices
pectin 5 grams
granulated sugar: use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked

Finely slice the orange. Place the orange slices in a medium-sized pot filled with cold water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, discard the water, re-fill with cold water and blanch the oranges for another 10 minutes.

Blanch the orange slices 3 times. This process removes the bitterness from the orange peel, so it is essential to use a new batch of cold water every time when you blanch the slices.

Once blanched 3 times, drain the slices and let them cool.

Once they are cool enough to handle, finely mince them (using a knife or a food processor).

Weigh the slices and use the same amount of granulated sugar . If you don’t have a scale, you can place the slices in a cup measurer and use the same amount of sugar.

In a pot over medium heat, add the minced orange slices, the sugar you just weighed, the orange juice and the pectin. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes).

Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

OrangeTian03

For the Orange Segments:

For this step you will need 8 oranges.

Cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and make sure to keep the juice. Add the segments to the bowl with the juice.

OrangeTian07

OrangeTian08

OrangeTian09

For the Caramel:

granulated sugar 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
orange juice 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams

Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it.

Once the sugar starts to bubble and foam, slowly add the orange juice. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and pour half of the mixture over the orange segments.

Reserve the other half of the caramel mixture in a small bowl — you will use this later to spoon over the finished dessert. When the dessert is assembled and setting in the freezer, heat the kept caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and just coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). You can then spoon it over the orange tians.

[Tip: Be very careful when making the caramel — if you have never made caramel before, I would suggest making this step while you don’t have to worry about anything else. Bubbling sugar is extremely, extremely hot, so make sure you have a bowl of ice cold water in the kitchen in case anyone gets burnt!]

For the Whipped Cream:

heavy whipping cream 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 teaspoon Gelatine
1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
orange marmalade (see recipe above) 1 tablespoon
I folded 50g melted and cooled dark chocolate to this whipped cream for my choc orange version

In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a hand mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken for about one minute. Add the confectioner sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously. Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade.
[Tip: Use an ice cold bowl to make the whipped cream in. You can do this by putting your mixing bowl, cream and beater in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.]

Assembling the Dessert:

Make sure you have some room in your freezer. Ideally, you should be able to fit a small baking sheet or tray of desserts to set in the freezer.

Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone.

Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.

Have the marmalade, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use.

Arrange the orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter. Make sure the segments all touch either and that there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Arrange them as you would sliced apples when making an apple tart.

OrangeTian18

Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the cookie cutter in an even layer. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top so there is room for dough circle.

OrangeTian19

Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of orange marmalade on each circle of dough.

Carefully place a circle of dough over each ring (the side of dough covered in marmalade should be the side touching the whipping cream). Gently press on the circle of dough to make sure the dessert is compact.

OrangeTian10

Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes. (I left mine in the freezer for a few hours, and stored leftover ones in there too)

Using a small knife, gently go around the edges of the cookie cutter to make sure the dessert will be easy to unmold. Gently place your serving plate on top of a dessert (on top of the circle of dough) and turn the plate over. Gently remove the cookie cutter, add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately.

OrangeTian29

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

GuinessCake07

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

I remember trying a chocolate Guinness cake in my later years of University when a friend brought one in (we had cake days every Friday). I was a little apprehensive (as I don’t like beer), but once I was convinced to try it, I haven’t looked back. I have been spreading the word, trying to convince as many friends and family as possible (some are more difficult to convince than you would imagine) to try it and that’s all it takes to get most people hooked.

GuinessCake04

It even looks like a poured out Guinness, and you can be sure guys and girls alike will be intrigued by having beer in a cake.

GuinessCake06

The best aspect of this cake has to be how lovely and moist it is. Coming in a close second (or equal first) is the great flavour combination of the chocolate with a very slight Guinness flavour (trust me, I don’t like normal beer, let alone Guinness – but I [and other non-beer-drinkers] really enjoy this cake) and the creamy icing.

GuinessCake09

I wish I had a slice right now…
[By the way, you can freeze it, iced and everything – it makes the perfect easy snack for work, school or shopping].

GuinessCake27

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Recipe taken from the internet years ago… can’t remember the site sorry

butter for pan
1 cup Guinness Stout
10 tablespoons butter (10oz or 300g)
¾ cup cocoa
2 cups caster sugar
¾ cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or imitation vanilla – it works just as well in this
2 cups plain flour
2½ teaspoons baking soda (bi-carb soda)

Icing
1¼ cups icing sugar mixture or icing suger
8oz (240g) cream cheese at room temperature
½ cup heavy (thickened) cream

Heat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan forced). Butter a 22cm (9-inch) spring-form pan and line with baking paper.

In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.

GuinessCake13

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well.

GuinessCake12

Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.

Yes, it is very liquidy - don't worry - this will make it moist.

Yes, it is very liquidy - don't worry - this will make it moist.

GuinessCake22

Icing: Mix cream cheese with electric mixer and blend until smooth. Add cream, then sifted icing mixture and mix until smooth and spreadable. Also add a little cocoa powder to give the icing the murky look of the Guinness frothy if you like.

Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.
Makes one 9-inch cake, 12 servings.

My Note: To use up a whole 440 ml can of Guinness multiply the recipe by 1.5 times. Pour 2/3 mixture into cake tin and the rest into approximately 24 patty cases or 12 large muffin cases. (cook these for 15-20 minutes). Make 1 quantity of icing as this should cover both the cake and patty cakes. Slices of cake and muffins can be frozen and thawed when you have a craving.

Rough Quantities for 1.5x normal quantity (1 x 22cm cake + 12 muffins)
butter for pan
440ml can (approx 1½ or 1¾ cups) Guinness Stout
15 tablespoons butter (450g)
1 1/8 cup cocoa (Or one heaped cup)
3 cups caster sugar
1 1/8 cup (approx 300g carton) sour cream
3 large eggs
1½ tablespoon vanilla extract or imitation vanilla
3 cups plain flour
3¾ teaspoons baking soda (bi-carb soda)

GuinessCake08

Related Posts with Thumbnails